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Meeting title

2nd Joint Webinar (agroBRIDGES – COACH – COCOREADO – SISTERS)


Practical tools, concepts and methodologies for the development of new or improved food systems and supply chains


Thursday, November 24th 2022


10.00 – 12.30 (CET)


MS Teams

Meeting host

Eirini Efthymiadou (agroBRIDGES)

Meeting materials

Session presentations & Video recording (sent along with the Webinar Report)


George Malliopoulos


agroBRIDGES, COCOREADO, COACH, SISTERS consortium members, COCOREADO Ambassadors, other guests (approx. 60 participants)


The 2nd Joint Webinar of the Horizon 2020 projects, agroBRIDGES, COCOREADO, COACH and Horizon Europe project SISTERS, was organised remotely on November 24th, 2022, using the MS Teams teleconferencing tool. This webinar is the second in a series of three webinars organised as part of the agroBRIDGES Clustering activities. This time the discussion was focused on the presentation of concepts, methodologies and tools employed by each project with a view to support the development of new and improved food systems and supply chains. At the end of the webinar a discussion was unfolded with a view to exchange ideas, propose solutions to challenges, map collaboration and cross-utilisation of the results among the project consortia. It was our pleasure to have the COCOREADO Ambassadors attending and making invaluable contributions for the improvement of the projects’ solutions for the end-users and practitioners in agri-food systems.




Introductory session

The webinar was introduced by Eirini Efthymiadou (Q-PLAN INTERNATIONAL), the coordinator of the agroBRIDGES project who welcomed all participants and provided a quick summary of the webinar sessions and the topics presented.


Figure 1: Screenshot from the Introductory session


Session #1: COCOREADO Project


The first webinar session was kickstarted by Lisa Van Den Bossche and Rani Van Gompel (ILVO) who presented the approach of COCOREADO for supporting the proposition and collaborative development of “seed initiatives” for the agri-food sector, involving the project’s Ambassadors. The seed initiatives are aimed at redefining the connection of producers and consumers to create a close and mutually beneficial relationship, while creating benefits for the producers by the reduction of intermediaries in the value chain.


The seed initiatives are developed in a highly interactive Ambassadors’ training programme that comprises of intelinked sessions that make creative use of business modelling tools and design/system thinking approaches to support the seed initiatives eventually reach the market. The project provides initial funding to the 6 most promising seed initiatives, as selected by the project Ambassadors, to organise co-creation sessions and to better understand the needs of the market and their end-users, while developing their concepts. As the training progresses, the defining elements of the seed initiatives are refined while exercises that serve as reality checks are taking place to make sure that seed initiatives improve their connection with the market. The final training sessions aim to help seed initiators and the teams to define the ultimate goals to reach different actors and the next steps to achieve them, as well as to develop the pitching skills of the teams.


Figure 2: Lisa presenting how the COCOREADO seed initiatives commitment process works


Figure 3: Rani explaining how the canvas structures the design process for seed initiatives


Interesting material: Listen about the experiences and testimonials of the COCOREADO Ambassadors first-hand at the Rural Voices, a series of podcasts by Rural Youth Europe:


Figure 4: Lisa and Rani talking about the Rural Youth Europe podcasts of COCOREADO


At the end of the session, an interactive exercise was launched by the COCOREADO team using the Mentimeter tool that consisted of two parts / open questions:

  • What should we not miss on our third ambassadors training?
  • How can we maintain the network after the project?


In the discussion related to the first question, the workshop attendants emphasised the practical aspects of the COCOREADO seed initiatives, i.e. to ensure that ideas are reaching the market apart from the educational benefit for the Ambassadors and also to provide them guidance on how to find financing instruments / programmes to secure further funding for their ideas.


Figure 5: Results of the interactive exercise of the COCOREADO session (Part 1)


The second discussion had a more long-term nature, as the participants proposed different methods to maintain a long-term relationship with the network of Ambassadors, including catch-ups meetings and interactive sessions, involvement in new projects (e.g. a sequel of COCOREADO!). Partners were welcomed to provide their suggestions and contact the COCOREADO consortium for new project proposals!


Figure 6: Results of the interactive exercise of the COCOREADO session (Part 2)



Contact the COCOREADO Team!


Contact Lisa Van Den Bossche and Rani Van Gompel (ILVO) to learn more about the Ambassadors training programme. For general inquiries, contact the project coordination team Erik Mathijs and Margo Heremans (KU Leuven).


COCOREADO website and social media (to find more info and support each other):

·       COCOREADO website (

·       Facebook (@Cocoreado Project)

·       LinkedIn (@COCOREADO)

·       Twitter (@cocoreado)

·       Instagram (@cocoreado)





Session #2: COACH project

In the 2nd session of the webinar, Luke Owen (Coventry University), guided the participants through the principles, methodology, lessons learnt, and the future steps of the Mentoring & Coaching programme employed in the COACH project. After a short introduction of the COACH project, Owen stressed the value and importance of mentoring and coaching for different agri-food actors and most importantly small-scale food producers and then, explained how the COACH project operates by making the best of the two concepts / processes, considered by many as interchangeable.


Figure 7: The work ethic of the COACH Mentoring Programme summarised


The core principles of the COACH Mentoring were described in detail, that support the creation of mutually beneficial mentor-mentee relationships to gain a holistic understanding of the current status of the mentee, inspire transformative change, while building relationships of trust, just to mention a few elements. Luke, then introduced and explained the innerworkings developed for the mentoring programme and provided some insight on how the effectiveness of implementation was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as given the central role direct human interaction plays in such programmes. The Knowledge Exchange Event organised in September 2022, was the first face-to-face meeting within COACH that enabled direct mentor-mentee interactions and “humanised” the mentor-mentee relationship after a long period with online meetings as the norm.


Figure 8: Luke presenting the International Knowledge Exchange event of COACH

A very interesting presentation of the key take-aways collected from the deployment of the COACH Mentoring programme so far, emphasised the unique value of peer-to-peer as opposed to the typical mentor-mentee relationship and the testimonials of programme participants (in either side of the mentorship process).


A key highlight was the ability of mentors to help small producers “stop the clock” when it comes to the problems faced (using firefighting as an analogy), take a step back to reflect and gain control over the situation in the long term, as expressed very vividly by a mentor at the IKE event of COACH in France, presented in the instance below!


Figure 9: Mentor testimonial at the International Knowledge Exchange Event of COACH


The session was concluded with the next steps and future activities of COACH, as the project approaches to its end.


Contact the COACH team!


For more info about the mentoring programme, please contact Chris Maughan and Csilla Kiss the Coventry University team! For general inquiries, contact Moya Kneafsey the project coordinator (Coventry University).


COCOREADO website and social media (to find more info and support each other):

·       COACH website (

·       Twitter (@COACH_EUProject)

·       Youtube (@coachproject6521)

·       Newsletter (fill in the contact form and check the box)





agroBRIDGES project

The third session of the webinar was dedicated to the tools and content offered by the agroBRIDGES project to agri-food actors involved or interested to be engaged in Short Food Supply Chains. Kaisa Vehmas (VTT), the Work Package Leader coordinating the development of the agroBRIDGES Toolbox, presented its core functionalities as a teaser to the official launch of the platform in Spring 2023 for the agri-food systems of 12 European countries.


Kaisa introduced the agroBRIDGES Toolbox which is a collection of 12 tools and functionalities aiming to support agri-food actors in 12 countries (called Beacon Regions) – Ireland, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey. The toolbox offers four types of tools: (i) digital tools, (ii) communication material, (iii) event organisation guidelines and (iv) a training programme for public food procurement.


Figure 10: Summary of two digital tools offered via the agroBRIDGES Toolbox


The initial development of agroBRIDGES Toolbox was completed quite recently, in September 2022 and at this point, regional agri-food actors in the 12 countries are performing testing to validate the tools’ concepts leading to improvements, before the launch of the agroBRIDGES Toolbox for the general public.


Figure 11: Kaisa presenting the agroBRIDGES Training guides for producers and public food procurers


For the remainder of the presentation, Kaisa walked attendants through the agroBRIDGES tools one-by-one and provided clarifications to the questions of the other attendants related to the functionalities offered to the producers via the digital tools. The different types of events (Culinary events, Producer events, Open Days, Celebrate local heroes, Matchmaking and Brokerage event) were discussed and it was explained that the first four events are targeting both consumers and the agri-food businesses, while the matchmaking event is mostly focusing on the development of B2B relationships and partnership for local Short Food Supply Chains. Moreover, Kaisa, provided insights on the development process and how the future end-users of the toolbox were involved in the evaluation of the tools’ mockup versions, through interviews, surveys and a workshop.


In addition, potential collaborations between the agroBRIDGES and COCOREADO projects were proposed for the utilisation / presentation of the agroBRIDGES Toolbox during the 3rd Ambassador training in May. Both sides agreed to follow up on this opportunity several months before the organisation of the next training session of COCOREADO. Finally, the COCOREADO Ambassadors are welcomed in the local events that will be organised in the 12 focal countries of the project, depending on their location.


The session was concluded with a series of quick interactive poll sessions related to the expected value of the agroBRIDGES Toolbox by the end users and the sister projects.


Figure 12: agroBRIDGES Toolbox poll results


Figure 13: The value of the agroBRIDGES toolbox summarised in one word

Contact the agroBRIDGES team!


For more info about the agroBRIDGES Toolbox, please contact Kaisa Vehmas (VTT), Eirini Efthymiadou (Q-PLAN) and George Malliopoulos (Q-PLAN)! For general inquiries, contact Eirini and George the project coordination team.


agroBRIDGES website and social media (to find more info and support each other):

·       agroBRIDGES website (

·       Twitter (@agrobridges_EU)

·       LinkedIn (@AgroBridges Project 2021-2023)

·       Youtube (@agrobridges7354)






The final session of the workshop was dedicated to the SISTERS Project and was delivered by Federica Grassi (Safe Food Advocacy – SAFE) who provided a general overview of the project, its activities and expected results. The SISTERS project is a 4.5-year-long action that was kicked off in November 2021 and recently entered the second year of activity. The SISTERS project aims to contribute to the reduction of food loss and waste in the EU which is a major issue in the agrifood system and also exacerbates global warming, due to inefficient practices across the value chain ranging from production, logistics, and processing to marketing and consumption). SISTERS proposes 5 innovative solutions to support more efficient food management in each of the 5 aforementioned stages in the food supply chain.


Figure 14: Federica explaining the status quo of food loss & waste, motivating the SISTERS project


Federica followed with a more in-depth explanation about the innovations expected to be created in the project lifetime, including a Short Chain Platform for primary producers to sell products that do not meet commercialisation standards directly to consumers, 2 types of Smart Containers for food transportation (Bulkbox & Storebox), home-compostable bio-based food packaging, a standard (“Seal of Excellence”) for retail practices that contribute to the reduction of food loss and waste and finally, a dynamic label for food products that also responds to the need of consumers for easily comprehensible food labelling systems.




Figure 15: The five innovations promised by the SISTERS project to reduce food loss & waste


Promising areas for collaboration:

The SISTERS Project is currently in the search of potential synergies with other relevant projects and networks in food waste and loss to participate in regular Working Groups, to exchange ideas, best practices and support the elaboration of a policy report with recommendations and a best-practice report.

In parallel, the project team is searching for references and knowledge related to policies and legislation related to the topic of food loss & waste at local, national and EU levels.

Figure 16: Collaboration topics for the SISTERS Project



Contact the SISTERS team!


For more info about SISTERS synergies and the policy working groups, please contact Federica Grassi (SAFE), for dissemination and communication Andrea Leon (Innovarum)! For general inquiries, contact the project coordinator Carolina Peñalva (AITIIP).


agroBRIDGES website and social media (to find more info and support each other):

·       SISTERS website (

·       Facebook (@Sisters)

·       LinkedIn (@SISTERS)

·       Instagram (@sisters_eu)

·       Twitter (@sisters_eu)



Q&A session – Discussion and final remarks


After the end of the dedicated sessions, a discussion followed related to questions, clarification and the identification of potential collaborative actions among the project consortia. The discussed topics are listed below and project teams are strongly encouraged to follow up.


Suggestions and discussion:

  • Group mentoring to be assessed as a possibility for the COACH mentoring programme could be an effective addition so producers and farmers, as proposed by one of the COCOREADO Ambassadors, running similar activities in Albania and discussed with Moya Kneafsey (Coventry University).
  • The SISTERS Short Chain Platform could support farmers in finding infrastructure they might lack that enables them in converting their raw (in the sense of unprocessed) produce in other forms that are more easily stored and for larger periods of time (example mentioned: processing of apples in juice). The proposition was made by the aforementioned COCOREADO Ambassador.
  • As a generalisation to the previous proposal, the SISTERS Short Chain Platform, apart from direct sales of primary producers to consumers, could offer information about alternative supply chains that make use of non-commercial grade produce for other products, packaging and energy, among others (B2B sales). This information could be supported at a local level, given the diversity of agri-food systems across countries and even regions.


Collaboration topics / Actions:

  • agroBRIDGES and COCOREADO to assess the possibility for inclusion of the agroBRIDGES tools in the 3rd Ambassador training in May 2023. It is not a necessity to have a fully finetuned toolbox before making this decision. The final response will be assessed among the involved agroBRIDGES partners and will be communicated with the COCOREADO team well before the delivery date of the training. (ETA: December 2022 / January 2023).
  • SISTERS and ZeroW projects potential collaboration for resources on policy / legislation topics related to food loss and waste. Lisa Van Der Bossche (ILVO) is the contact of the ZeroW project.


Next webinar:

  • The 3rd Joint Webinar will be organised among the sister projects in 2023, topic and date will be agreed with the teams of the projects engaged in the Clustering activities.
  • The Joint Clustering Event will be a physical event for the sister projects, organised in the 2nd half of 2023. Announcement and next steps will be sent to the sister proects by Q-PLAN in due time.





Practical tools, concepts and methodologies for the development of new or improved food systems and supply chains

Thursday 24th November 2022, 10:00 – 12:30 CET

Join the webinar here

Time (CET)


09:50 – 10:00

Start of online session (participants are kindly requested to connect a bit ahead of time)

10:00 – 10:05*

Presentation of webinar scope and structure.

Eirini Ethymiadou (Q-PLAN INTERNATIONAL, agroBRIDGES Project)

10:05 – 10:35*

The model behind the COCOREADO Ambassador training aimed to support young food changemakers in translating an innovative idea into action. Discover the model and our learnings from applying it on 7 different innovative ideas.

Lisa Van Der Bossche & Rani Van Gompel (ILVO, COCOREADO Project)

10:35 – 11:05*

Mentoring practitioners in sustainable and collaborative short food supply chains.

Luke Owen (Coventry University, COACH Project)

11:05 – 11:35*

The agroBRIDGES toolbox: a collection of 12 practical tools to support the growth of Short Food Supply Chains (SFSCs) in Europe.

Kaisa Vehmas (VTT, agroBRIDGES Project)

11:35 – 12:05*

Systemic Innovation for a Sustainable reduction of the European Food Wastage – discover the SISTERS project.

Federica Grassi (SAFE – Safe Food Advocacy Europe, SISTERS Project)

12:05 – 12:30

Discussion and wrap-up of the webinar.

Eirini Ethymiadou (Q-PLAN INTERNATIONAL, agroBRIDGES Project)

* 20 minutes presentation, including interactive exercises, plus 10 minutes Q&A.




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